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Patch My PC Free makes it easy to update many Windows applications and tools

14 July 2011, Mike Williams

It’s no secret that keeping your Windows PC up-to-date is essential, for security reasons alone. Actually achieving this, though, takes considerable time and effort, which is probably why there are so many Windows tools around promising that they can help – and Patch My PC Free is one of the latest.

Launch the program and it’ll immediately highlight any updates required by some key applications and tools: Firefox, Java, Adobe Reader/ Flash/ AIR, QuickTime and so on.

Click “Optional Updates” and Patch My PC can also check your version of several popular Windows programs: Microsoft Security Essentials, Google Chrome, CCleaner Slim, Defraggler, ImgBurn, VLC Player, FileZilla, WinRar, Pidgin, itunes, Dropbox, Safari, Google Earth, Spybot Search & Destroy, KeePass, Picasa, Malwarebytes, Speccy and Shockwave.

This in itself isn’t too impressive. The best of the competition knows about hundreds of thousands of tools, so the 30 or so supported here won’t get you very far.

This is a new project, though, so should grow over time. And even now, if you happen to use several of the supported apps then Patch My PC does have a couple of plus points which may make it worth a try.

The first is that the program doesn’t just alert you to available updates: it’ll also download and install them in the background, at a click.  This isn’t always completely silent – our VLC Media Player installation popped up a message asking if we wanted to remove our current build before installing the new one – but in general we found it worked well (with the exception that it doesn’t seem possible to cancel an update session).

And the second is that Patch My PC comes in the form of a compact (456 KB) portable executable file. Well, portable-ish (it needs the .NET Framework 3.5 so you may not be able to use it everywhere), but if you regularly access several Patch My PC-compatible systems, and use many of its supported applications, then the tool could prove a convenient way to keep them up-to-date.

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